1st Mar: Had a good flight to Egypt, 4hrs 50 mins. Luxor airport was swarming with Egyptians willing to help with bags etc. tipping is expected. 15 minute coach trip around Luxor, quite an eye opener, poverty everywhere, carts loaded up with sacks pulled by donkeys, little motorbikes dodging cars, nobody takes too much notice of the lines dividing the roads, buildings that look derelict with no roofs. Tourism is the main stay of Egypt, and the English flock here at this time of the year for the warm weather, Egypt's winter temps are around 22 - 25 degrees. The boat is luxurious, food great and plentiful and right now we are all up on the sun deck stretched out on lounges enjoying the beautiful day. We set sail after lunch, the morning was taken up with a tour to the Valley of the Kings. Chris and Liz went, I renigged because of the 6 am departure, disappointed because that was the one thing I would have liked to see, but was too tired from the long day yesterday. Hope to see plenty of other sites during the week.
1st Mar cont..... First night of cruising, Captains cocktail party, table with 4 levels with every colour cocktail you can imagine. After the Captains welcome speech we were invited to help ourselve to a cocktail and nibbles, followed by a 5 course dinner. Food absolutely amazing.
2nd Mar: Jan woke us early singing Happy Birthday Aunty Trish. Went down to breakfast only to find our table decorated and a pile of presents and cards. There were two Pandora beads, 1 from Jan and Keith, the other from Mary. A Kindle e;reader and cover from the gang, Jan, Keith, Nicki, Tash, Cody, Dane, Karl, Tina, Kian and Eden. Photo frames with 70 on them, a Swarovski crystal pen, a gorgeous Egyptian necklace from Chris and Liz and cards from all the family and their friends that I met on Saturday. I was lost for words, and teary, just couldn't believe it. We are spending the day cruising until about 4 pm when we dock at Kom Ombo where we can go ashore.
Quite an experience going ashore, the locals pounce and try to sell their wares. Jan is an expert at haggling, but you learn very quickly. Back on board for dinner. When everyone had just about finished, several of the staff entered the dining room pounding drums, then the maitre d came to our table and escorted me into the middle of the room, drums pounding, then they all sang happy birthday in their Egyptian accents, broke into dance swinging me around, then brought out a birthday cake to serve to everyone. It was just amazing and conclusion to what turned out to be a wonderful and unforgettable birthday.
Mar 3 / 4: Aswan for 2 days. We all went ashore and intended to walk to bazaar, were pestered unbelievably to take taxis, (cars about 30 years old and hardly road worthy, we decided to take our lives in our hands and clambered in and driven into the souk. Another education in itself. Pestered beyond belief but we did find a genuine trader and bought a few souvenirs. Spice traders were everywhere, as were shops selling gerabalyas. In the evening after dinner we were entertained by Nubian Folk Dancers. Sailed from Aswan back towards Luxor after lunch on Sunday. This evening is Egyptian night where we all dress in Egytpian costume. Fabulous evenings entertainment.
Mar 5: All day in Luxor. Spent morning at markets buying more souvenirs. Rest of day on sundeck enjoying the beautiful Egyptian Winter sunshine. Tomorrow, Tuesday, cruise to Denderah then back to Luxor for return to the U.K. on Wednesday. It has been a truly wonderful experience, the cruise boat is luxurious, the cruise staff can't do enough for you, and an altogether wonderful holiday.
Mar 6: Sailed to Dendrah for day, back to Luxor late afternoon. Final candlelit dinner followed by entertainment in the lounge bar, belly dancer then whirling dervish.
Mar 7: Leave ship at 2 p.m. for flight back to the U.K.
Unless you experience the Nile, words and photos could never do it justice, it has been a truly wonderful holiday.
Arrive back 6.40 am Monday. See you all next week.